Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Effect of sodium-free solutions on ionic currents of snail giant neurons

  • 23 Accesses


The ionic currents of the snail giant neurons were investigated by the voltage clamp method. The effect of sodium-free solutions on the inward and outward currents was studied. It is shown that the current entering the cells is created mainly by sodium ions. When a preparation is immersed into a solution not containing sodium ions, most neurons (tentatively neurons of type "a") "lose" the inward currents. In other neurons (tentatively of type "b") this process lasts 40 min and more. A number of peculiarities of type "b" neurons were noted. The response of the excitable membrane to conditioning polarization was also investigated. The data obtained permit the conclusion that 85–90% of the sodium-transfer system is activated in the case of a voltage clamp from the level of the resting potential.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Literature cited

  1. 1.

    V. D. Gerasimov, P. G. Kostyuk, and V. A. Maiskii, "Excitability of giant nerve cells of various members of Pulmonata (Helix pomatia, Planorbis corneus, andLimnea stagnalis) in solution not containing sodium ions," Byull. Éksperim. Biol. i Med.,58, 3–6 (1964).

  2. 2.

    V. D. Gerasimov, P. G. Kostyuk, and V. A. Maiskii, "Responses of giant nerve cells to opening of a hyperpolarizing current," Fiziol. Zhurn. SSSR,51, 703–710 (1965).

  3. 3.

    P. G. Kostyuk, "Comparative physiological investigations of cellular mechanisms of principal nerve processes," Zhurn. Évolyuts. Biokhim. i Fiziol.,3, 489–496 (1967).

  4. 4.

    P. G. Kostyuk, "Activity of basic inorganic cations in protoplasm of excitable cells," Fiziol. Zhurn.,13, 585–592 (1967).

  5. 5.

    E. A. Liberman and A. L. Voronin, "Action potentials of the muscle fibers of the crayfish after a prolonged stay in a solution with barium ions," Biofizika,8, 579–583 (1963).

  6. 6.

    V. A. Maiksii, "Electrical characteristic of the surface membrane of giant neurons ofHelix pomatia," Fiziol. Zhurn. SSSR,49, 1468–1479 (1963).

  7. 7.

    Z. O. Sorokina, "Activity of potassium and sodium ions in molluskan giant neurons," Fiziol. Zhurn.,12, 776–780 (1966).

  8. 8.

    K. S. Cole and J. W. Moore, "Ionic current measurements in the squid giant axon membrane," J. Gen. Physiol.,44, 123–167 (1960).

  9. 9.

    I. G. Chamberlain and G. A. Kerkut, "Voltage clamp studies on the snail (Helix aspersa) neurons," Nature,216, 89–90 (1967).

  10. 10.

    A. L. Hodgkin and A. E. Huxley, "The dual effect of membrane potential on sodium conductance in the squid giant axon ofLoligo," J. Physiol.,116, 497–506 (1952).

  11. 11.

    A. L. Hodgkin and A. F. Huxley, "A quantitative description of membrane current and its application to excitation and conduction in nerve," J. Physiol.,117, 500–544 (1952).

  12. 12.

    A. L. Hodgkin, A. F. Huxley, and B. Katz, "Measurement of the current-voltage relations in the membrane of the giant axon ofLoligo," J. Physiol.,116, 424–448 (1952).

  13. 13.

    G. A. Kerkut and D. F. Gardner, "The role of calcium-ions in the action potentials ofHelix aspersa neurons," Comp. Biochem. Physiol.,20, 147–162 (1967).

  14. 14.

    R. Moreton, "Application of the constant-field theory to the behaviour of the snailHelix aspersa neurons," J. Exper. Biol.,48, 611–623 (1968).

  15. 15.

    S. Nakajima and K. Kusano, "Behaviour of delayed current under voltage clamp in the supramedullary neurons of puffer," J. Gen. Physiol.,49, 613–628 (1966).

Download references

Additional information

A. A. Bogomolets Institute of Physiology, Kiev. Translated from Neirofiziologiya, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 314–320, May–June, 1970.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kryshtal', O.A., Parkhomenko, N.T. Effect of sodium-free solutions on ionic currents of snail giant neurons. Neurophysiology 2, 238–242 (1970). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01063366

Download citation


  • Ionic Current
  • Outward Current
  • Voltage Clamp
  • Excitable Membrane
  • Clamp Method